Full Name: Steve Kim
What office are you seeking? Illinois Attorney General
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Northfield Township Trustee
City: Deerfield, IL
Education: Bachelor’s Degree - Loyola University of Chicago, Juris Doctorate - Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
Campaign Website: kimforag.com
Why should we vote for you for attorney general?
The career politicians have failed the citizens of Illinois. Skyrocketing crime and rampant corruption have become a fact of life in Illinois. As a candidate, Kwame Raoul vowed to prosecute corruption and tackle crime, but he has failed. He has ignored the problems in our state. I’m not a career politician, and I don’t have the traditional path to be Attorney General. But that unique perspective allows me to look at the office through a new lens, something different than the career politicians who have filled the office year after year. I’m an attorney who has worked around the world, from Cairo, IL to Cairo, Egypt addressing anti- corruption policies, rule of law, and public safety policy. I’ve adjudicated hundreds of civil rights cases as a member of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. I understand the role that the Attorney General needs to play in addressing crime and combatting corruption, something our current Attorney General does not.
How do you view the role of attorney general?
The Attorney General should not only be aggressive in protecting taxpayers, but that should also expand to fighting public corruption. In my professional career, I have worked with governments that are rife with corruption, and it creates many of the ongoing, systemic issues we see in Illinois government. As Attorney General, I will fight for taxpayers through consumer protection and in targeting corruption statewide.
What successes has the attorney general’s office had?
I would be hard pressed to commend the current Attorney General for doing anything other than successfully shirking his 2018 campaign promises to tackle corruption. While passing the buck to federal investigators, Kwame Raoul has actively chosen not to pursue corruption for political purposes.
What needs to be improved?
The Attorney General’s office is falling short of its responsibilities as the state’s chief law enforcement office. There are State’s Attorneys across the state who are failing to fulfill their responsibilities, not prosecuting criminals, and disregarding the work done by law enforcement in the process. I believe the Attorney General’s office needs to work alongside State’s Attorneys and ensure that they are prosecuting cases, and taking action to ensure that those who would rather play politics with public safety actually do their jobs.
What are your thoughts on the Public Access Counselor? How can that office be improved?
Being open and transparent should be the minimum expectation for a statewide office holder. Our current Attorney General promised to take on corruption when he ran in 2018, and has not said a word about it since, even as major figures who helped get him elected, like Speaker Mike Madigan, have been indicted. This is a transparency and accountability issue I expect to resolve as Attorney General.
The attorney general’s office was assaulted by a ransomware attack. What can the attorney general do to safeguard Illinois residents from being victimized by ransomware attackers?
The Attorney General needs to work closely with State and Federal partners to both prevent and prosecute cybercrimes. First, with other statewide offices like the Secretary of State’s office on educational campaigns to teach people how to spot suspicious malware and prevent being victimized. Second, we need to partner with federal authorities in order to protect and get justice for our most vulnerable who are victimized, particularly the elderly.
As attorney general, how would you advocate on behalf of women?
The Attorney General is expected to work to protect all Illinois residents, and addressing the rising crime in this state does just that, and in particular helps advocate for women. We have State’s Attorneys in Illinois that are not pursuing prosecutions, and as Attorney General, I will work to ensure that those prosecutions happen. We need to make sure that repeat offenders, particularly killers and those who assault women, are off the streets.
As attorney general, how would you advocate on behalf of older Illinoisans?
Elder fraud is a crime on the rise across the nation and here in Illinois. It is critical for us to put an emphasis on prosecuting elder fraud. As Attorney General, I would bring together a task force to focus on preventing elder fraud in Illinois, sparing our seniors and protecting their personal information and livelihoods, including working with federal authorities to address cybercrimes targeting the elderly.
Does Illinois need to overhaul its criminal justice system? If so how? What role does the attorney general play in that debate?
One thing is clear: Illinois needs to take action on rising crime immediately. Murders are up across the state, with Cook County recording more than 1000 murders last year alone. That is unacceptable. I’ve worked in places where people don’t feel safe, and the result is the crumbling of societies. Businesses closing, people are afraid to leave their homes, economies crumbling, and more. This is an issue that needs to be addressed right now, and instead Governor Pritzker and Kwame Raoul are playing politics with public safety.
How can the attorney general be an advocate for consumers?
Fighting for the consumer is a primary responsibility of the Attorney General, ensuring that Illinoisans are not being taken advantage of by organizations capitalizing on the inflation we’re seeing by excessively increasing fees. During my career, I’ve worked in places without anti-corruption policies and have seen how bad actors take advantage of citizens through price gouging. I will take action to prevent that as Attorney General.
What is the attorney general’s role in protecting the environment in Illinois?
The Attorney General is responsible for upholding and enforcing the law in Illinois. If there are actors within the state violating environmental or emissions laws, the Attorney General is tasked with representing the people and ensuring those actors comply with necessary regulations.
What will be your top legislative priorities during your term, and why?
Unlike our current Attorney General, when I promise to take action on corruption, I mean it. As Attorney General, I will call for strengthened anti-corruption legislation that empowers prosecutors to fight for Illinoisans by removing corrupt actors from office. I will also push to strengthen support for law enforcement, calling for the removal of provisions in the SAFE-T act like ‘free time’ for those on house arrest and no-cash bail that are making it more difficult to keep our streets safe.